Can software improve your capture management process? The simple answer is yes. After all, we live in a world where advancements in technology are driven by the desire to automate and simplify our day-to-day tasks. And “There’s an app for that!” can be substituted as the answer to most of our questions.
That said, while your capture management software may or may not have an app for that, it can definitely provide value by helping you to improve, streamline and automate your processes. But not all capture management software products are created equal. So when considering a go/no-go decision, there are some specific features to look for as you’re reviewing the market of possibilities.
At the top of the list of features, the capture management software should have a defined and repeatable process, if it is to provide true avenues for improvement. This isn’t necessarily an off-the-shelf feature the software provides, but it should have the ability to align with your existing capture management process and help it scale through repetition.
Some software solutions are specifically built to integrate with your own process, while others require extensive customization to do so, so know on which side of the coin your software falls. Your selection should be built to integrate your entire company process, (Sales individuals, Management individuals, Executives (CxO), Contract individuals, Finance individuals, Proposal individuals, Administrative support individuals, etc.), in order to appropriately support capture executives. This will provide real value by automating steps that were previously consuming large amounts of administrative time – for example, gate reviews, templates and PowerPoint slides.
For the Government
Next, the right solution should be built for true government capture management. Most companies that participate in the government marketplace, novice or otherwise, are well aware of the difference in effective capture management in the government space vs. commercial space. Government accounts are captured in a different way, the capture process typically has more components, and the overall strategy is robust and lengthy by comparison. Utilizing a platform built for the specific, unique requirements of government capture, will ensure you’re not trying to customize a platform that will never work for your needs.
Additionally, the software should have the ability to import data from all of your sources. Most capture management software options integrate with commonly used applications, such as Microsoft Office, but if you have specific data capture sources you typically utilize, (Govwin, FedBizOps, Bloomberg Federal, etc), it’s essential to know if that information can be carried over into your selected software. By doing this, the software is able to collect all of the information needed to improve your probability of win (Pwin) percentage during the capture process.
The Right Questions
Taking the above factors into account, your software solution should then be able to take the integrated data, automate your processes and help you identify what questions to ask and when to ask them. Providing capture executives with specific questions or direction based on key decision points throughout the process will help improve your win rates.
Capture management software is an investment. If you want a real return on your investment of resources – time and money – the features of your selected solution must meet the needs of your entire organization. Investing in a software that is well known, but provides little value to your organization without extensive and expensive customization, will often turn out not to be worth the time and money you’re putting into it.